x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Bogus government employees blackmail woman over duty free alcohol

Two men dress as officials and blackmail a woman over the alcohol she bought at Dubai Duty Free, a court hears.

DUBAI // Two men posed as Emirati government employees to blackmail a woman over the alcohol she bought at the airport's duty free shop, a court heard today.

YS purchased the alcohol when she arrived in the country in early January. She told the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance that days later, at about midday on January 9, two men dressed in traditional Emirati clothes appeared on the premises of her husband's company in Al Rafaa and introduced themselves as Dubai Government employees.

The men asked for the identity cars of all those present before searching the building room by room. When they found the woman's alcohol they told her it was not allowed in the country and threatened to call the police.

The woman said that when she asked them not to, one of the men ordered her into a side room where he pulled up her shirt and touched her inappropriately.

"I did not understand what he wanted until he pulled my shirt," said YS. She said the man then asked for money in return for staying silent over the alcohol. When she took out her wallet, he snatched it and took all of the money inside.

"He took Dh6,000 in Dh500 bills," she told the court, adding that the man then left the room, screamed at his accomplice and ran away.

WA, a 24-year-old Pakistani, who failed to appear before the court to enter a plea, was sentenced to a year in prison for assisting SD, from Iran, who faces charges of posing as an official, theft and sexual assault. The court is yet to issue a verdict for SD.

WA will be deported following his prison sentence.

salamir@thenational.ae